EP0635115B1 - Location scale and optical reading sensor for reading said location scale - Google Patents

Location scale and optical reading sensor for reading said location scale Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0635115B1
EP0635115B1 EP19930906655 EP93906655A EP0635115B1 EP 0635115 B1 EP0635115 B1 EP 0635115B1 EP 19930906655 EP19930906655 EP 19930906655 EP 93906655 A EP93906655 A EP 93906655A EP 0635115 B1 EP0635115 B1 EP 0635115B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
scale
bars
location
reading
indicating
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
EP19930906655
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German (de)
French (fr)
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EP0635115A1 (en
Inventor
Antti Kilpinen
Sten Siren
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Partek Cargotec Oy
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Partek Cargotec Oy
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to FI921531 priority Critical
Priority to FI921531A priority patent/FI91325C/en
Application filed by Partek Cargotec Oy filed Critical Partek Cargotec Oy
Priority to PCT/FI1993/000120 priority patent/WO1993020403A1/en
Publication of EP0635115A1 publication Critical patent/EP0635115A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP0635115B1 publication Critical patent/EP0635115B1/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01DMEASURING NOT SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR A SPECIFIC VARIABLE; ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEASURING TWO OR MORE VARIABLES NOT COVERED IN A SINGLE OTHER SUBCLASS; TARIFF METERING APPARATUS; MEASURING OR TESTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G01D5/00Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable
    • G01D5/12Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable using electric or magnetic means
    • G01D5/244Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable using electric or magnetic means influencing characteristics of pulses or pulse trains; generating pulses or pulse trains
    • G01D5/249Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable using electric or magnetic means influencing characteristics of pulses or pulse trains; generating pulses or pulse trains using pulse code
    • G01D5/2492Pulse stream
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01DMEASURING NOT SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR A SPECIFIC VARIABLE; ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEASURING TWO OR MORE VARIABLES NOT COVERED IN A SINGLE OTHER SUBCLASS; TARIFF METERING APPARATUS; MEASURING OR TESTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G01D5/00Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable
    • G01D5/26Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light
    • G01D5/32Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light with attenuation or whole or partial obturation of beams of light
    • G01D5/34Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light with attenuation or whole or partial obturation of beams of light the beams of light being detected by photocells
    • G01D5/347Mechanical means for transferring the output of a sensing member; Means for converting the output of a sensing member to another variable where the form or nature of the sensing member does not constrain the means for converting; Transducers not specially adapted for a specific variable characterised by optical transfer means, i.e. using infra-red, visible, or ultra-violet light with attenuation or whole or partial obturation of beams of light the beams of light being detected by photocells using displacement encoding scales
    • G01D5/34776Absolute encoders with analogue or digital scales
    • G01D5/34792Absolute encoders with analogue or digital scales with only digital scales or both digital and incremental scales

Abstract

The object of the invention is a location scale and an optical reading sensor for reading a location scale of this kind. The scale comprises bars (2) with a first edge and a second edge, either the first or the second edges being located at regular intervals. In order that both incremental data and absolute data might be included in the same scale, the bars (2) are of at least two different widths, and n successive bars (2) on the scale (1) form an individual code indicating the location of said n bars on the scale.

Description

  • The present invention relates to a location scale comprising bars with a first edge and a second edge, either the first or the second edges being located at regular intervals. The concepts first edge and second edge refer to edges located closer to and further from the beginning of the scale, respectively. The reading direction of the scale, which can naturally vary, has no effect on the use of these concepts.
  • The invention also relates to an optical reading sensor for reading such a location scale, comprising several light receivers with different detection areas.
  • Location scales that are used for tracking and localization of the mutual position of two targets capable of moving with respect to each other consist conventionally of scale bars that are of uniform width and located at regular distances. Such a scale is called an incremental scale. It is read by counting the number of bars starting either from the beginning of the scale or from a separate starting signal located on the scale. The problem that arises with a scale of this kind is that every time the incremental data is lost for some reason, the device must first be driven to the starting signal on the scale before the location data can be restored. In order to avoid this problem, it is known to dispose another scale beside an incremental scale, said other scale comprising absolute codes at regular intervals for indicating the location of the code. Consequently, it is not necessary to return to the beginning of the scale to restore location data when it is lost but only to the nearest absolute code. Such scales are also known wherein the incremental code and absolute codes are mixed with each other in such a manner that a starting signal for an absolute code occurs first on the scale and thereafter the actual absolute code at regular intervals. Such a scale is disclosed, for example, in German Offenlegungsschrift No.3,818,044. In its use, this code does not differ from the code wherein the incremental scale and the absolute codes are located on different scales in the sense that for restoring the location data, it is always necessary to return to the nearest absolute code.
  • The primary object of the present invention is to provide a location scale wherein an incremental scale and absolute codes indicating location are combined in a new way, which enables the restoring of location data after it has been lost at a very short distance. This is achieved with a location scale of the invention, wherein the scale comprises bars of at least two different widths and that n successive bars on the scale form an individual code indicating the location of said n bars on the scale. The absolute code and the incremental scale are thus completely integrated in such a manner that the first or second bar edges, located at regular intervals, correspond to the bars of the incremental scale. On account of the variation in the width of the bars, an absolute code is also included in the bars in such a manner that a certain number of successive bars, e.g. ten, form an absolute code. To restore absolute location data after it has been lost, it is therefore necessary to read only the number of scale bars corresponding to the number of the code bars. When the given number of bars have been read in the same reading direction, the reading of each new bar creates a new absolute code.
  • In the simplest version, the scale comprises bars of two different widths, whereby the code is binary.
  • In order that the reading sensor might have a simple structure, it is preferable that if the distance between those edges of two successive bars that are located at regular intervals is three units of length, the width of the narrower bar is one unit of length, and that of the wider bar is two units of length.
  • A further object of the invention is an optical reading sensor for reading a location scale as described above. The reading sensor is characterized in that it comprises six light receivers for forming three information signals, the first one indicating those edges of the scale bars that are located at regular intervals, the second one indicating the direction of propagation on the scale, and the third one indicating the width of the scale bars, and that it further comprises a shift register for recording the information about the width of at least n successive scale bars for obtaining an individual code indicating the location of said n bars on the scale.
  • Most preferably, the total length of the detection area formed by the light receivers in the direction of the scale corresponds to the distance between those edges of two neighbouring scale bars that are located at regular intervals.
  • In the following, the location scale of the invention and the optical reading sensor for reading it will be illustrated in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which
    • Figure 1 shows an example of a location scale of the invention,
    • Figure 2 shows schematically, by way of example, an embodiment of the reading sensor of the invention,
    • Figure 3 shows the position of the detection areas of the light receivers,
    • Figure 4 shows an example of signals from the six light receivers of the sensor of the invention,
    • Figure 5 shows different combinations of the signals illustrated in Figure 4, and
    • Figure 6 shows the three signals formed on the basis of the signals according to Figure 5, the first one indicating those edges of the scale bars that are located at regular intervals, the second one indicating the direction of propagation on the scale, and the third one indicating the width of the scale bars.
  • Figure 1 shows an example of a bar scale 1 of the invention. This bar scale consists of scale bars 2, the first edges of which, i.e. the left-hand edges in Figure 1, are located at regular intervals. The bars 2 are of two different widths: in the example of Figure 1, the widths are one unit of length and two units of length. Accordingly, the distance between the first edges of the bars 2 is three units of length. As the first edges of the bars 2 are located at regular intervals on the scale according to Figure 1, the scale can be used as an incremental scale. As a result of binary coding of the width of the scale bars, a certain number of successive scale bars, e.g. ten in the case of Figure 1, form an individual code indicating the location of these bars on the scale. The absolute location on the scale can be found out by reading a number of successive bars corresponding to the length of the code. When the length of an individual code is ten scale bars, the total length of the scale is about 1000 bars, which is sufficient for a scale of about 3m when the distance between the bars is 3mm. When the location data has been lost, the absolute location on such a scale can be determined after the scale has been read for a distance of 30mm. It is also possible to create a longer code by increasing the number of bars used for indicating the location data, whereby the total length of the scale increases correspondingly. In addition to absolute location, the scale also provides incremental data, wherefore it is possible to connect functions pertaining to observation of reading errors and logic necessary for clearing them up with a system utilizing a location scale of the invention.
  • Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of a situation where a scale according to Figure 1 is disposed on the piston-rod 3 of a hydraulic cylinder. An optical reading sensor 5 of reflection type is inserted in an end portion 4 of said hydraulic cylinder for reading said scale. The reading sensor 5 comprises an actual read head 6, which is disposed in the immediate vicinity of the piston-rod 3 by means of a spacing plate 7 made of teflon, for example. The read head 6 is supported on the boring in the end portion 4 by means of a locknut 8. The read head 6 comprises six light receivers and a light source or light sources for illuminating the scale. The light receivers may be light sensors each of which focuses the light from a given detection area to a given photo-sensitive component by means of separate lenses, or they may consist of fibre ends of a bundle of fibres, which receive light from a given detection area. When optical fibres are used, the illumination of the scale can be effected by disposing light-emitting fibre ends among the light-receiving fibre ends.
  • Figure 3 shows the area of the piston-rod 3 which can be read by means of the reading sensor according to Figure 2. Detection areas A, B, C, D, E and F of the optical reading sensor are visible in the middle of the spacing plate 7. As is evident from Figure 3, the total length of the detection area formed by said detection areas A, B, C, D, E and F in the direction of the scale 1 corresponds to the distance between the first edges of two neighbouring scale bars 2.
  • Figure 4 illustrates the signals received by the reading sensor according to Figure 3 from detection areas A, B, C, D, E and F. It can be seen from Figure 4 that the signals are identical but have a phase-difference of 60° with respect to each other.
  • Figure 5 shows a situation where the signals according to Figure 4 have been treated by combining them so as to produce difference signals A - C, A - E, B - D, B - F, D - B and D - F. When these signals are combined in pairs in such a manner that the signals A - C and A - E are combined, the clock signal shown lowermost in Figure 6 is obtained. In said clock signal an ascending change always indicates the first edge of a scale bar. The signal which is in the middle of Figure 6 and indicates the reading direction on the scale is obtained by combining the signals B - D and B - F. The signal indicating the reading direction can be read either on the ascending or on the descending edges of the clock signal. When the reading direction remains unchanged, the state of the signal indicating the reading direction also remains unchanged during the reading. The signal indicating the reading direction can naturally also be read when the clock signal changes, wherefore the state of the signal becomes alternating in so far as the reading direction on the scale remains unchanged. The data signal which is shown uppermost in Figure 6 and indicates the widths of the scale bars is obtained by combining the signals D - B and D - F illustrated in Figure 5. This signal can be read whenever the clock signal changes, whereby the lower state of the signal indicates a narrow scale bar, and the upper state of the signal indicates a wide scale bar.
  • The reading sensor of the invention also comprises a shift register, which stores information about the width of a specified number of scale bars that have been read. The contents of the shift register disclose thus the absolute code which can be interpreted as absolute location data on the scale. When the reading direction is changed, or if the contents of the shift register are lost for some other reason, the incremental data obtained from the scale must be relied on until the number of scale bars required for the absolute code have been read again.
  • The location scale of the invention has been described above, by way of example, merely by means of one embodiment. The optical reading sensor, in particular, for reading a scale of this kind represents only a preferred solution as regards the reading principle used by it. Thus, the location scale of the present invention as defined in the appended claims can differ from the embodiment described with respect to both the number of the bars included in a sequence of bars and the width of the bars in such a manner that there can be bars of more than two widths. Furthermore, even other types of optical reading sensors than the one illustrated in Figures 2 to 6 can be used for reading the location scale of the invention.

Claims (5)

  1. A location scale comprising bars (2) with a first edge and a second edge, either the first or the second edges being located at regular intervals, wherein the scale comprises bars (2) of at least two different widths and that n successive bars (2) on the scale (1) form an individual code indicating the location of said n bars on the scale (1).
  2. A location scale according to claim 1, wherein the bars (2) are of two widths, whereby the code is binary.
  3. A location scale according to claim 2, wherein the distance between those edges of two successive bars (2) that are located at regular intervals is three units of length, wherein the width of the narrower bar is one unit of length, and that of the wider bar is two units of length.
  4. An optical reading sensor for reading a location scale according to any one of claims 1 to 3, comprising several light receivers with different detection areas, characterized in that, it comprises six light receivers for forming three information signals, the first one indicating those edges of the scale bars (2) that are located at regular intervals, the second one indicating the direction of propagation on the scale (1), and the third one indicating the width of the scale bars (2), and that it further comprises a shift register for recording the information about the width of at least n successive scale bars for obtaining an individual code indicating the location of said n bars on the scale.
  5. An optical reading sensor according to claim 3, wherein the total length of the detection area formed by the light receivers in the direction of the scale (1) corresponds to the distance between those edges of the scale bars (2) that are located at regular intervals.
EP19930906655 1992-04-07 1993-03-25 Location scale and optical reading sensor for reading said location scale Expired - Lifetime EP0635115B1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FI921531 1992-04-07
FI921531A FI91325C (en) 1992-04-07 1992-04-07 Place of scale and an optical reading sensor for this location scale for reading
PCT/FI1993/000120 WO1993020403A1 (en) 1992-04-07 1993-03-25 Location scale and optical reading sensor for reading said location scale

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP0635115A1 EP0635115A1 (en) 1995-01-25
EP0635115B1 true EP0635115B1 (en) 1997-01-02

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EP19930906655 Expired - Lifetime EP0635115B1 (en) 1992-04-07 1993-03-25 Location scale and optical reading sensor for reading said location scale

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US (1) US5539993A (en)
EP (1) EP0635115B1 (en)
AU (1) AU3754593A (en)
DE (2) DE69307135D1 (en)
FI (1) FI91325C (en)
WO (1) WO1993020403A1 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO1993020403A1 (en) 1993-10-14
FI91325C (en) 1994-06-10
FI921531A (en) 1993-10-08
DE69307135D1 (en) 1997-02-13
FI921531A0 (en) 1992-04-07
FI91325B (en) 1994-02-28
EP0635115A1 (en) 1995-01-25
DE69307135T2 (en) 1997-04-24
AU3754593A (en) 1993-11-08
FI921531D0 (en)
US5539993A (en) 1996-07-30

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